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Steve Snow states:
 
>I might already know the answer to this but have forgotten it:
>Why do community systems need unix machines, workstations, etc.? Can't they
>run well, even allowing for Internet gateways, under BBS software, say
>with OS2?
>One issue facing our community as we start up is  what kind of system we
>should use. And why unix? Why not Syunchronet or VBBS or...you name it
>BBS software? I know the *tradition* is unix and the *history* is unix,
>but what makes unix right? Is it *that* much more stable?
>One reason I ask is that pc's running bbs software cost less to set up.
>Beyond that, I just wonder.
>Re: Fidonet...obviously Fido has real utility in a free system because it
>is mostly free, unlike the Internet. The drawback is that it is slow. Also,
>it doesn't allow ftp. And you do telnet the old-fashioned way: you dial
>up another system. :-)
>Any others have thoughts on these issues?
 
Good questions, Steve.  I'm running a community-based system using TBBS,
an excellent BBS package, and its suits our needs just fine.  It seems to
me that all this talk of UNIX and the Internet is only because that was
the only paradigm that people had --- and they stuck with it.  I believe
good BBS software does the trick just fine.  Ask any of the private
companies like MicroSoft, WordPerfect, etc. that use it for customer
support.  It also doesn't have to use a multitude of arcane commands with
a minimalist text on solid background presentation.  I like simplicity,
user-friendliness, and color graphics.  Haven't really seen it yet with
the UNIX-based civic networks I've visited.
 
BBS packages are fast becoming Internet-connected.  But, hey, if we're
really trying to build "community" (and I mean in the narrow sense --
"local"), then who the heck needs the Internet?
 
Bruce Kirschner
 
P.S.  If you want to visit my system, the Boulder County Civic Center,
call 303-666-7188.  I believe it amply demonstrates what one individual
can do without a national affiliate, lots of "staff," and mucho bucks.
I'm using my original PC -- whole schebang for less than $800!!
 
 
--
Bruce Kirschner  :--)